YOUR responsibilities as a horse owner. - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 56 Old 06-13-2009, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
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Great post JDI, I agree with mls on the fact that anyone can write something and claim it to be fact. Educating ourselves by using our common sense is a better way to do it. I've fallen trap to believing stuff a PROFESSIONAL said to me before, and then thought it over and asked my trainer when I realised it sounded off. It's hard to understand where to find right from wrong, but I suggest if you're learning, to make sure your common sense is tagging along. Anyone can claim to be a professional in the horse industry, it's just up to us to use our support networks to weed out the correct professionals over the pretenders.

Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
- - - - So it isn't just having their feet done, it is having the right farrier, who is educated and up to date on all techniques, so that your horse has blood flow, correct angles according to their pasturns and hips/shoulders - - - - -

I too completely believe in this. I didn't know a great deal about farriers, I knew my horses needed their feet trimmed, and just used one that everyone on the property used. I then moved grazing and learnt the hard way with my old mare that she didn't have the correct angles, and spent the next year and a half correcting a mess that I had allowed to happen by my ignorance. Now I don't use anyone without checking them out beforehand, and turning to several people who have used the person for their opinion. I currently use a farrier who does an impressively good job, but is occasionally unreliable. It's hard to find someone here that is both, which is a shame because it's their livelihood they're ruining! I respect farriers though, and enjoy my current one as he is always updating his knowledge on his career.

Thank you JDI again, for posting such a great thread.

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #52 of 56 Old 06-14-2009, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Bumpidy bump!

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JustDressageIt is offline  
post #53 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 03:22 AM
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Only just caught this thread!

First, big clap for JDI :]

I see so many kids come through our PC who don'tknow the minimum needs of their horses... It makes me sick, makes me angry... But that's not my point, that was yours, and I agree :]

There are a lot of variables, in regards to feet, teeth, amount of feed, etc. That's a given, so I won't adress that.

MIEventer, i'm one of those kids whose parents paid for everything :] They paid for about 5 years of lessons, then I became a junior staff at my riding school, then they leased me a pony and then bought me a pony and so-on. BUT, now that I am earning my own wage, I pay for everything. I am still dedicated, still loving it as much as I did when I was 10. Not all the kids whose parents paid are bad horsepeople/don't stick it out. I know there are lots, I know many of them, but not all of us :]

Joshie -
I think that most people don't figure about these expenses. Think about this: healthy, unboarded horses cost $180/month. This is more than $2100 a year per horse. This is without farrier costs and with only minimal shots.

That isn't a cheap horse! I haven't added up totals on my two horses, but they get a trim @ $35 ever 8-12 weeks, or longer if they don't need it. A biscuit of hay @ $10 per bale daily and one scoop of feed @ $25? per bag. They are the only regular costs. They get teeth floated when needed @ $180 per horse, vet if needed, (ours charges reasonable amounts). Shots aren't as big a deal here, ours get strangles and tetanus once every couple of years. Oops, forgot worming, thats $12 p/h every couple of months (they are regularly rotated, etc.).

Although a horse can miss a few trims and be ok, it doesn't take too long for a badly fitting saddle to do damage to a horses back, the sverity depending upon the fit of saddle and how often the horse is ridden.

^^^Brilliant point. My current horse is nearly crippled due to a bad fitting saddle over 2 years. See my other threads if you want more details, but saddle fit is a HUGE deal.

wild_spot is offline  
post #54 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
When you decide to buy a horse, you are taking on a monumental responsibility. They are large animals that eat a lot and require a lot of care.

When you buy a horse, you are in charge of getting proper care for your horse, this means:

1) The horse should be fed according to their body needs.
That means if you buy a hard keeper, you are going to spend more money on feed. It's a fact of horse ownership. If the horse is old or has special dietary needs, you need to be prepared to deal with it.
Signs your horse isn't getting the nutrition it needs:
Take a good long look at your horse, and really look at what you're seeing. -If you can see the ribs, you might need to re-evaluate your horse's nutrition
-If the coat is dull and lackluster, you might need to re-evaluate your horse's nutrition.
-Your best bet is to go through each point on the horse with the BCS:
Body Condition Scoring of Horses
Common excuses:
- Oh, he's old, that's why he's skinny. >No, the horse is skinny because you're not doing something right.
- He just won't pick up weight! >Then it is your responsibility to find out why, and fix it.
- He's always been skinny. >Same response as above

2) Their teeth need to be looked after.
Prepare to spend a few hundred dollars each year on this. Or more.
Horses cannot verbally tell us when their teeth hurt, so you need to be looking out for signals. Dropping excessive feed, balking at the bit, losing weight, etc, all signs that your horse needs his teeth done.
If one person comes out and says your horse's teeth are fine, but he's still not accepting the bit, dropping feed, and losing weight, get a second opinion., preferable from an equine dentist.
Signs your horse might need dental work:
- He is losing weight, or has a hard time keeping weight
- He refuses to eat, eats slower than normal, or drops a lot of feed while chewing
- He refuses the bit, or won't accept the bit
- He has trouble bending and suppling
Common excuses:
- I don't have the money to do it. >Then don't own a horse.
- My grandfather owned horses all his life, they never had their teeth done and were fine. >I call bs on this statement. Ever lived with a toothache? It hurts! You can't eat right, and your every day actions are a pain too. Humans that have never seen the dentist suffer for it. Same goes for your equine pal.
- Horses out in the wild don't get their teeth done! >No, but they also die from it.

3) They need their hooves trimmed on a regular basis - most horses require their feet done every 4-10 weeks. Missing a trim, yes, even one, can damage your horse, and it can be a long road to recovery.
Yes, it's costly, but it's a necessity. My horse's feet grow like weeds and need to be done almost on a monthly basis, so I shell out the $45/visit because it keeps him sound, happy and healthy.
Common excuses:
- My horses feet don't need to be done in the wintertime, I'll keep them trimmed in the summer. >Wrong. The horse can develop lameness from ill-kept feet. You need to keep them on a regular rotation throughout the year.
- Horses in the wild don't need their feet done! >Firstly, the lame ones get killed off pronto. Secondly, they travel vast distances and so their hooves do wear naturally, but they probably aren't balanced. Thirdly, your pet pony is completely out of the wild. It is being ridden, and asked to do things horses in the wild would never do, so your horse needs special hoof care.

4) Your horse needs regular deworming.
Horses get parasites internally, it comes from eating unsanitized food. You would need to be dewormed too, if your food came from a field without being washed, or you ate off the ground.
It's inexpensive, and keeps your horse healthy.
If your horse is infested with parasites, any food you pump into him is going to be shared with these lovely bugs. You can spend more money on feed and the horse won't pick up weight because - you guessed it - little buggies are getting the nutrients.
It really is cheaper to deworm on a regular basis than pumping more feed into try and offset parasites.
Signs your horse might need to be dewormed:
- Scratching the tail/butt
- Lackluster coat, not shedding coat
- The belly hangs down and the horse looks fat, but you can see the ribs.

5) You need to be prepared to shell out money for emergency veterinary care.
If your horse is injured, sick, or otherwise unhealthy and you don't know how to deal with it, CALL the vet.
Will it be expensive? Probably, but it is your DUTY as a horse OWNER to care for your charge.
Common excuses:
- We can't afford to have the vet out. >Then please sell or give the horse away to a home that can. You should not own a horse. They are big, expensive animals, and if you can't shell out the bucks to get the horse properly cared for, you should not own it.
I am sick and tired of this excuse. You own a HORSE. Vet care is expensive, but necessary.

In this day and age of information at your fingertips, IGNORANCE isn't an excuse.
If you take on a horse, it is your DUTY to read up on care for the horse. That means you should know how much to feed. That means you should know that farrier care is needed. That means that you should know to call the vet when your horse isn't well. That means you should know that your horse needs to be dewormed.

Horses are EXPENSIVE animals, it's a simple fact. If you CANNOT or WILL NOT provide adequate care, please reconsider getting (or keeping) a horse.
Amen. Just happened that someone who works at a barn(not a facility I have boarded at)told me the other day, they have 2 horses owned by this one rider who hasn't been at that barn for months. Not only that but board hasn't been paid either. The horses have just been left there. They can't a hold of her or have a correct address.

The owner of the place has finally started to get a farrier out, out of her own pocket because these horses were in such rough shape and were not cared for.

I think that's my biggest frustration with horse owners. Those who buy an animal and leave it to fend for itself out to pasture.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
my2geldings is offline  
post #55 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 10:58 AM
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I have to disagree horses cost the same as any other hobby/luxury. Horses have a variable cost associated with them lots of other things don't. For example if you fall on hard times you can just forgo the movies or dining out. You cannot stop paying board, vet, feed, etc. So I don't see that as a relevant argument whatsoever.

If you have your own place and have good grass and don't have to feed a lot of hay or feed to supplement then your feed cost may be low. But you still have to factor in worming, shots, (you can do yourself), you can do your own trims, etc. So yes in the long run you can keep it pretty reasonable given the perfect situation. However you never know when something catastrophic could happen. And it really depends on the horse. My horse is high maintenance. She needs a fly sheet and the most expensive fly spray and she is always getting boo boos and needs proper first aid treatment on a regular basis, etc. And yes going to shows etc add cost.

But bottom line is its not like other luxuries, its a constant cost, and its also a variable uncontrollable cost.
lovemyponies is offline  
post #56 of 56 Old 06-15-2009, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
You can follow "KISS"...Keep It Simple, Stupid...and still have a strong, healthy horse willing to work everyday that lives to a ripe old age.
Agree with that! Actually, in my state rabbies is also only by the vet. In PA (as far as I know) anyone can give it.
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